This morning I was overthinking corporate culture and storytelling in the shower, as you do, when it hit me. I was trying to figure out why companies should care about their culture. I knew it was important; companies with healthy cultures usually had a great vibe in the company and people were generally happier, but what was the impact on the bottom line?
My Eureka moment was realising that culture defines what the default option is in each and every decision made in your company.
The culture in your company defines what the default option is for tiny decisions such as “What shall I wear to the office today?” and “Am I allowed to help this customer?” to “Should we present this to the board at all?”
Every non-default decision requires a mix of effort, energy and guts that I call Leadership. Which means that most decisions are made by default, even if you have great leaders. So I will wear whatever is acceptable at work. I will stick to procedure when helping customers. And I probably do not make that particular presentation to the board.
So the trick to get people making correct decisions is to make sure that the default option is the correct one. Some people say it is impossible to change culture. I disagree and think it is merely extremely hard and takes a lot of time and dedication. The secret ingredient is to have values and communicate how a decision is framed by those values. Which of course means living by your values as well
So this is where Storytelling becomes an important Leadership tool. By not only living our values, but communicating about them with Value Stories we can slowly shift corporate culture into making the correct decision the default decision.Tags: corporate culture, culture, decisions, value stories